From Brian Keogh in Detroit

Triple major champion Padraig Harrington wants to join Tiger Woods in the history books and complete the "Paddy Slam" next year.

In 2000 Woods won the US Open, the Open and the US PGA before completing the "Tiger Slam" with victory in the 2001 Masters.

Now Harrington has the Open and the US PGA, he can"t wait to get to Augusta next April for a crack at the green jacket before heading to New York for the US Open.

Still struggling to come to terms with the magnitude of winning three majors in 386 days, he said: "I"ve won two in a row so I"m the only guy who can go and win the next one and win the three in a row. I am in a position to win the next one and that"s all I can say."

Harrington added: "If you had said to me what would you like to win next, I"d have said one of the other three Majors. Winning the second one back-to-back is special because it"s back-to-back.

"Now winning a PGA, it does put these things in perspective but unfortunately for me, there"s seven months until the next Major. Thankfully, I"m not an Olympian because I"d have to wait four years for the next Games."

Victory in Augusta, where he has finished in the top seven three times, would set up a crack at the "Paddy Slam" in the US Open at terrifying Bethpage Black in New York.

Harrington remained a third in the world rankings yesterday but closed the gap on number two Phil Mickelson and No 1 Tiger Woods, who is out of the rest of the year following reconstructive knee surgery.

And he believes he is still improving and can go on now and challenge Mickelson and Woods for supremacy as the world"s top golfer by doing his own thing.

He said: "I have probably been the leading player in Europe for close to six years. It is a big step now to move up now and start competing on a different level.

"I'm world No 3, I've got Phil, I've got Tiger ahead of me. I don't necessarily pay attention to what they're doing, I pay attention to more to what I'm doing.

"I have to move to the next level, as Tiger has done. He"s won many tournaments as I did this week, in a battle, but he also has the ability when he gets ahead to keep going and not give other people a chance.

"I did that at Birkdale. That"s where I"m talking about the level of confidence. When I"ve got things going good, I keep them up the level of performance.

"Do I believe I can improve as a player" Yes. I do believe I can improve as a player. There's plenty of my game to improve.

"There's lots of stuff I can work on. And I am maturing as a player. I have always been throughout my career, I have been a learner in the game. I've always applied myself, looked for what would improve my game, found that, and worked on it to improve it and have improved it.

"But it's always taken some time. Many periods in my career, I've had lulls where I've been in between things, and come out stronger.

"I'm looking at this period as one of those that I am coming out stronger with experience and I'm putting a lot more things together. I'm making things happen on the golf course and applying myself.

"It is a long way to catch Tiger at the top. But I know that the only way of focusing on doing that is focusing on me, what I'm doing, controlling what I can do.

"I can't control Tiger or Phil. So just pay attention to what I'm doing and continually try and strive to improve. That's the only thing I can ask of myself."

"To win one Major I thought was a big achievement for me. To win three now is great. I've plenty of go left in me. I"ve probably got nine years left in my career so I"m looking forward to the next one in seven months time."

Ladbrokes are quoting odds of 100/1 against Harrington pulling off the Paddy Slam.

But Harrington is just happy that he is even talking about the possibility of actually doing it.

He said: "The great thing for me is we can actually have that conversation. I don't really need to worry about the odds.

"Imagine. Someone turns around and ask about the Paddy Slam, isn't it just awesome to be considered a contender, to be put in there with Tiger Woods.

"Two years ago would we have considered those things. That's where I'm at and that's where I need to be.